Social media

Social media is all around us. There's email, twitter, Facebook, and more. There are chat rooms and forums. In a sense, this is beneficial because it allows us to communicate with others  and learn about them. It also helps us learn new things, stay connected to people, and share news and events with them. Therefore, social media can be very useful.

But, like many other things in life, social media also has it's drawbacks. I'm not going to write a post about what's wrong with social media. Instead, I'm going to discuss why you need to be aware of what you post on social media or how you use it. This may seem obvious, but sometimes we get so caught up with posting that we forget the downfalls of social media.

Lets start with posts. You can often post your status on Facebook or twitter, which allows others to see how you feel or events in your life. This is nice because you can share moments and thoughts with others. But sometimes we post without thinking. We might post something that doesn't seem offensive, but it might be to some. Or we may 'like' a status or post that can be harmful to others. For example, you may like a page that has revealing images on it. This happens to show up on my news feed. Well, I don't want to see that! So in a way, your social media has harmed me or has made me uncomfortable. Or consider what happens when you share a post that has swear words in it or vulgar language. Why should others reading your posts have to contend with that? You may be causing others to fall into temptation or sin. Looking at it another way, you may be causing yourself to sin and not realize it.

What about what social media reveals about you? Social media is just that - media that provides us with ways to be social or connect with others. The key word here is 'media', coming from 'medium' which is another way of saying that it transfers something (information about us) from one place (us) to another place (people's computers, the Internet, etc). This is great at times, but have you ever thought about LIMITING social media is? At the most, we type our thoughts/feelings/statuses and post them for others to see. We share our pictures or 'like' other photos. But this is problematic because it often paves the way we see people - our impressions of them. For example, what would happen if I posted quotes on my facebook wall that swore and insulted others? People would think that I am mean and rude. What about someone who posts love quotes and quotes about finding the 'right person'? People would assume that this person is 'desperate' or lonely. It is sad, but the fact of the matter is that we make assumptions based on what we see and read on social media.

What do we learn from this? Know that although social media is great, it is limited. This has implications, of course, as to how you should use it. Before you post something about yourself (no matter how private you have made your settings), know that it is not out of your hands and into the public. Anyone can see it. Do others really need to know that you feel XXX or just did XX? If this is not necessary, do not post it. Or what about quotes and pictures? Remember that nearly anyone can see this stuff. What does the image or quote say about you and your values or thoughts? Is this the kind of impression you want to give off? Do others REALLY need to know that you are looking for love, that you are a snobby person, or that you hate XXX? If not, do not post it. Keep these tips in mind. Sometimes we become so obsessed and attached to our social media that we often forget that what we are posting is now available to many people out there. And these people may not know you well, so they will make assumptions about you based on what you post. Do not let social media turn you into a person that you are not. Be warned that it can. So, think before you post. Be media-smart.

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